Our Love Affair With God

November 27, 2009

Anka.jpg
by Henry Makow Ph.D


I was making a spaghetti sauce and put on a collection of old Paul Anka hits.

Listening to the lyrics, it struck me: If you imagine the love object is God, instead of some empty headed girl with regular features, there is little difference between popular love songs and religious hymns, prayers and chants.

We are all pilgrims and God (Love) is our Mecca.

I don't have to tell you that 97 per cent of all popular songs are love songs. A visitor from another planet would conclude that our religion is romantic love. But instead of recognizing the real object of our desire, we have fixated on the opposite sex, whom we mystify and idealize to reflect our true sublimated desire.

I am not a Jungian, but I agree with Carl Jung's statement: "If you take away God, man will invent a thousand false ones." They have taken away God. You can't mention the word in polite company. As if the concept of a Creator and a Design is so outlandish, given the incredible organization of everything in the natural world.

The people who want to replace God (with themselves) are responsible for our inability to mention or imagine God when it is so simple.

God is synonymous with our spiritual ideals and desires: truth, beauty, love, peace, bliss, justice and harmony.  So don't blame God for letting bad things happen to good people. Bad people are responsible, the same people who abolished God.

We are God's agents. If we don't bring about his Kingdom, it won't happen. Eventually, we'll all become extinct.


GETTING BACK TO LOVE SONGS
 

Next time you hear a love song, imagine it is about God. You will be surprised how well it fits.

"I love you with all my heart, we'll never part, please stay with me...God."

"I'm so alone. All I want is somebody to love"

"Show me, you love me too."

"I'm so lonely; I'm so blue, now that you're gone."


These lyrics remind me of Christian, Muslim and Hindu mystics pining away for Divine Grace. 

We're religious zealots, just like them. All that's missing are the white robes. We don't pray five times a day. We listen to these prayers 50-100 times a day.

But we've taken a wrong turn. Instead of recognizing the true object of our desire, we have glommed on to the opposite sex. We are looking for a person to play the role of God.

Frankly, we've been misdirected. (Think who runs the music and movie business.)  And, of course, lust is a confusing factor ...

CONCLUSION

If we could just begin with the knowledge that God loves us, then we wouldn't have this desperate misguided need "for love" expressed in love songs.

We are never alone. God is within us.  He is our constant companion, a warm, glowing fire at the center of our being. Our primary relationship is with Him.

 
 



Comments for "Our Love Affair With God"

C said (March 2, 2010):

I just finished reading your article, "Our Love Affair With God." I realize that was written a while ago, but I just discovered it. I was somewhat surprised to read it, I thought you didn't like Christians much. I was,
glad I was wrong. I read your articles all the time and enjoy them very much. I discovered you through Rense, a site I visit daily. Anyway, my comment on your article: Yesterday, (Sun) I did not make time to pray, my day, my morning was busy, I wanted to get dressed and start my errands. This morning, (after prayer) I was just
ready to get into the shower, when God burst through my mind with the beautiful words from Unchained Melody:

Oh my love, my darling, I hunger for your touch
a long, lonely time. Time goes by so slowly, and
time can do so much. Are you still mine?

Even as I write this, tears are flooding down my face. I could not stop crying. Abba, Father, Abba, Abba I LOVE YOU!!!!


Julian Lee said (November 29, 2009):

I liked your article about the love songs. I've often thought the same thing.
Sometimes I pretend the singer is singing to God and it's perfect. It becomes a
wonderful devotional song. You mentioned how "you can't mention the word [God] in polite company."
That's probably starting to become true. In this recent video I confront a crowd gathering to go into a movie theatre for a "Portland Amateur Porn Festival." I sang them a song I composed for the occasion having the word "God" in the early start. As soon as the crowd hears the word they laugh:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX3O5sCrnqc

Your expressions of faith are very helpful.


Julian Lee said (November 29, 2009):

To Ray [below] who said "God is good, religion is not. Let's not confuse the two." How 'bout, let's not be confused and forget the deep connection between the two.

A modern fad is to imagine them as dichotomous. But the connection is deep. An individual (Christ, Mohammed) has a profound experiences with God and that's what founds religions. The religion survives to show the way others can have that same knowledge. Religion is the map back to God, the seed carrier or husk that carries the seed of spiritual knowledge, and the directions to it. All of the great saints who felt they had a direct experience with God attained that by being part of a religion and following a religious discipline. One example is religions teaching moral self-control.

The mystics attest that their blissful God experiences were made possible partly by moral self-control. Religions have priceless value even if all they do is keep alive the mere idea and memory of God. People who try to separate God from religion are, to me, shallow and usually have some negative experiences that have made them neurotic and unable to see religion objectively.

Attacking religion only further separates the majority of people from the possibility of having the highest divine experiences of saints. Both God and religion are good. It would actually be more valid to say that religion is better than God. Most people don't really feel much "connection" to God, and He is unimaginable and abstract in his higher aspect.

But religion, by contrast, is God translated down to human terms and is easily accessible. Discover your church. Discover your saints. Discover the truth about religion and the vaster, more authentic history of the churches. It's not what you see on T.V., but in the words of their saints. And as Henry said, you can learn about their experiences by listing to the lyrics of love songs. It's the religions that keep alive the idea of the superiority of divine love over unreliable human love.


EJ said (November 28, 2009):

You said:

>>God is synonymous with our spiritual ideals and desires: truth, beauty, love, peace, bliss, justice and harmony>>

I say those ideals were around a long time before people recently made up this god character, especially the male, off planet one. For hundreds of generations prior to that take over by the male church state, "god" was not around. For the majority of tribal cultures and others a "goddess" or prime creator idea was there. It was a simple thing of appreciating sentience and seeking a channel to express that gratitude. It was NOT a rigid formula of rules and regulations seeking some sort of salvation from a scary, vengeful, murdering god.

As any thinking person knows, the mythical, biblical Jesus did not exist and that story was 1000 years old when Constantine made it up. Millions of people have seen UFO's with photos to prove it and no one has seen these god or Jesus characters. We most certainly can depend on the so-called "Holy Book" that took 900 years to put together.

God was made up by man to control spiritual expression. Religion is the business of spirituality.

>>We are God's agents. If we don't bring about his Kingdom, it won't happen. Eventually, we'll all become extinct. >>

That is ridiculous logic. We are our own agents. And why is god always a "he" and not just a thing or being? And us going extinct has nothing to do with religion and more to do with cycles. Cremo and Johnson in the their magnificent work: Forbidden Archeology exposed "man made" objects from around the world from 50 to 200 MILLION years old...explain that when the belief is we are about 10,000 years old.

It is arrogant to talk in that manner about us Henry. Weak people believe in god because they avoid self responsibility. Strong people are spiritual in their daily lives without and rule books and simply good intention.

---


Ray said (November 28, 2009):

God is good, religion is not. Let's not confuse the two. That’s how wars are started and people with different views are tortured and killed. Religion is man worshipping his own concept of God.

Ecstatic, " spiritual" highs can be found in many religions. Just because someone finally settles on Christianity or Buddhism etc. and finds that sense of peace they lacked in other religious experiments does not mean their religion is the "one true faith". Many people come to find evangelical Christianity to be extremely stifling and counter to emotional health and leave it without regret. After all it has only been around 500 years why should something Luther and Calvin started be the "one true way". Early apostolic Christianity was very different and rather diverse. Further, the record of its precursor, Roman Catholicism from 350 AD until about 1800 AD with its millions of murder and torture victims is likewise enough to turn people away from those who preach organized Christianity as the one true way.

Therefore, the true God is not bound by religion, but rather, exists apart from man's recent or ancient attempts to define him a particular way using particular dogmas. Christianity itself was a very diverse set of beliefs (often contradicting each other) until Constantine essentially developed Christianity as we know it. Regarding the existence of evil, you lay it all at mans feet, however, consider that if God is all-powerful and all-loving he might not allow us to murder, torture and rape each other. Would you sit by and watch a child raped if you had a .45 auto in your hand? No, because you would love the child enough to stop the rape. Yet, God allows such atrocities daily. I am not saying he is not loving; I am saying that His nature and ultimate purposes are somewhat beyond our comprehension. Maybe these reasons will be explained in the after-life.

The Love of the opposite sex can indeed be very self-destructive if we replace God with the man/woman. They were meant to be loved but not deified. Right on to that sentiment. Yet intense romantic love is a natural experience that is designed to perpetuate the species. If sex with our mate was as bland as eating cold grits without butter we wouldn't do it often! =-) The problem is, pornographers like Hefner have led men to expect and demand anatomically perfect women rather than loving and desiring the ones we have. There simply are not enough perfect specimens to go around! Thus porn is extremely deleterious to our development and health. The ability to feel erotic attraction and deep affection for a very average mate is a nice thing albeit a rarity these days.

In my life the law of love seems to have emerged as the ultimate truth. Anything contrary to love including religious bigotry, porn, abuse, torture and wars of aggression (Iraq, Afghanistan etc) is to be avoided and denounced like the plague.


Anon said (November 27, 2009):

Been doing that for years. It's a wonderful feeling, singing along in the vehicle putting God in the song and thinking God might accept it in the way I believe ( but know it's not so ) sounds like I'm delivering it. It gets beautifully emotional. Needless to say it is only God and I in the vehicle. Shouldn't say only.

Nice to see it being written.

Keep up the Good Work!


Jeffrey said (November 27, 2009):

What you say is true, and if you take any popular song from the last sixty years or so and replace "baby" or "girl," "you," "woman," etc. with Jesus, God, Allah etc. you will have spiritual music.

Frank Zappa was more cynical but just as spot on when he said (and I'm paraphrasing, it's in his book) that if people acted on all the love songs heard daily in our culture we would all love each other and conflict would be minimal, maybe even non-existent. Has it ever been like that? Of course not.

Even more cynically, he suggested that love songs were responsible in a large part for bad mental health, that the perfect relationships often sung about and "everlasting love" do not, in fact, exist, and that we live in anger and frustration in disappointment, feeling short-changed, somehow.

Popular music has changed so much in the last twenty years or so and grown much darker and more sexual, just like the rest of entertainment in general. I used to believe that movies and popular culture were a reflection on our times, but now I know that they condition us and our behavior.


Tony said (November 27, 2009):

A great observation that needed said and you were obedient to the call.

The illuminnatis first target of hatred is the Lord himself so it seems his praise is being diverted to lesser objects such as sensual
love. Also the devil knows that we are created to praise God {as was he also originally} and when he fell that worship was perverted to
self worship {Isaiah 14v12-15,Ezekiel 28v13-19}

I have also sang 'Annie's song' as a praise hymn to Jesus as in Michaels comment, and there are many other songs that lend themselves
to higher expression. Good songs reflect our human experience and whether religious or not can be edifying. Leonard Cohens 'Hallelujah'
illustrates this subject and the lyrics are worth study.

The major content of its theme refers to Davids fall over his affair with Bathsheba which was an adulterous but human love.

The refrain 'Hallelujah' throughout the song supercedes everything else,it is the highest expression that we can attain to. Everything
else is subject to it,both in this song and in our lives as you have demonstrated.

It is also interesting that when the Prophet King David died Bathsheba was no comfort to him,showing the fickleness of human love
but it was his faith in God that sustained him. Were all going to die and were all going to do that alone and thats another good reason to
acquaint ourselves with our creator who is also our Saviour.{1 John 4v19,5v7}


Martin said (November 27, 2009):

After reading your article "Our Love Affair With God", I was reminded of 'something', which you might find of interest.
Seems that George Harrison after his awakening wrote his songs to God (Krishna). Though instead of singing 'he' he used the word 'she'.
His reasoning was that if he sung he, the people would think that he was a homosexual.
This quote is from Syamasundara Dasa who was George's Hare Krishna friend.

Picking up where we had last left off, in that roomful of rock-stars, promoters, and delirious fans, we huddled shut off from their puzzle and envy and yakked about the Absolute, who you knew to be a Person--yeah, yeah, and yeah, you said, and who am I to be telling you that Krishna is the Supreme Person, the All-Attractive Person--"attracts me like no other lover"--(later you said you had to say "she" or everyone would think you a "poof")--and who am I to say the way to God's heart is through love (you, minstrel of love to the world)? Ah, but you must meet my master, Bhaktivedanta Swami, I said that day. He's so wise and beautiful... (My Sweet George, A tribute to George Harrison from an old friend.)


Ironically Frank Sinatra considered George's Something to be the "the greatest love song ever written,"

Sinatra was particularly impressed with "Something;" calling it "the greatest love song ever written," he sang it hundreds of times at various concerts. However, he once made the comment that "Something" was his all-time favourite Lennon/McCartney song, and frequently introduced it as such.[21] Harrison did not appear to mind this, and instead borrowed an alteration to the lyric that Sinatra had made. Where the original song was "You stick around now it may show," Sinatra sang "You stick around, Jack, she might show." This change was adopted by Harrison, who used the same lyrics whenever he performed "Something" as part of his touring repertoire.[22] (WIKIPEDIA)


Thanks said (November 27, 2009):

Well Henry, one fine day I shall sort it out but here is what I heard.

Through the Moorish conquests in Spain, Sufi’s, those Muslim mystics, brought ecstatic God-directed love poems/songs to Europe. In the centuries thereafter, this ecstatic worship of God was changed into the worship of women.

By faithless troubadours roaming through Spain and (Southern) France. And this seems to be the reason why most pop songs -yet another couple of centuries later- are about our love for the other sex: women. This because men wrote and -still- write the bulk of the songs.

The Swedish playwright August Strindberg called the worship of women the religion of the heathen. Must be a correct observation. If God is out, then what’s the highest around (even if she is as human as we are)? Yep, that short-legged, broad-hipped, round-breasted creature our souls are so enamored by.


Michael said (November 27, 2009):

'By Jove, I thinks she's got it.' (From My Fair Lady)

I've been listing to songs this way for more than 30 years.

In terms of consciousness, it has to do with listening not with the consciousness of the "self" and the 'thinker'--that is, the dualistic
or 'fallen' consciousness--but, rather, with the "observing consciousness"; that is, the consciousness Created "by and in the
image of God" (Genesis 1:27)

See:

http://after-the-false-peace.blogspot.com/


John said (November 27, 2009):

Shortly after abandoning Hinduism, Buddhism, & all other religions to embrace Jesus, & only Jesus - about 5 years ago -

I had, & I still have, that same insight, & feeling,you are talking about here.

It seems to me, we are 'hard-wired' to love God (Jesus); Anything else is the sin of idolatry.

I am convinced that Jesus must be 1st in our lives, & then our spouses (partners), & then
the rest of our families, relatives, friends, acquaintances, etc.

Ever since then, life makes infinitely more sense to me.

The wonderful, remarkable thing is that
my relationship with Jesus is not one-sided.

It is a real two-way relationship, &
I feel, & I know, He loves me, too!

I feel that each & every one of us is
'hard-wired' to love Jesus, & that
only then does everything make sense.


God bless you, & all of your readers,


Neil said (November 27, 2009):

On your essay- Our love affair with God.

Wonderful, wonderful, The obvious so hidden!! It's crazy isn't it?
I am laughing...
I will have a silly grin on my face now everything time i listen to these songs!


Michael said (November 27, 2009):

thought this very interesting and so true an observation. I play guitar and write a little music, most of which has been melodies set to various Psalms and scripture. I have heard it taught that music is worship (of one thing or
another). By its nature often it expresses praise, adoration, desire etc. I learned to play because of John Denver's music, and even though I like to play something like "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and some of his love songs, there is a
longing and loneliness in them that perhaps is unconsciously a reach for what man is really missing most. But when I, in simple worship to the Lord, play and sing a psalm, many of which express praise and worship and love of God,
there is a depth of satisfaction, fulfillment. Very much this was one of the prime reasons we were made: to love God and worship Him...that being said, Song of Solomon has all that flowery poetry of human love, and one person I
know made a comparison of it to John Denver's "Annie's Song"...I have written a couple of "Christian romance" songs. One was for a niece's wedding. I think there is a place for them, but like anything they or the subject can be or
become an idol put before God and much of the worlds adulation expressed musically does this, and though not the case presently, I would love to have a special someone and sing one of those songs to her and have her enjoy it, and
since He created woman and men I think He would enjoy it as well.


Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at